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10 Texts Parents Can Send Kids To Let Them Know You Have Their Back (Without Being Annoying)

Photo: Unsplash: David Preston
The 10 Best Texting Examples For Parents To Send Kids & Teens To Let Them Know You Have Their Back
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No one wants to be the annoying mom or dad, but ...

No matter how old their kids are, most parents want their children to feel supported and protected at all times. And if you're a parent, whether your babies are in pre-school or high school, you're not alone in wanting them to know their mom and dad always have their back, no matter what.

However, communicating this idea to kids, especially teens, isn't always easy, and can sometimes even backfire, sending a message that only pushes them away and leaves you all feeling awkward.

By the time your kids enter adolescence, texting is likely to be one of their favorite modes of communication. And when well-meaning parents send texts saying the wrong thing, kids may react in a variety of ways, from mild annoyance — “My mom just does not get me ...” — to anger — “Stop telling me what to do!” — to emotional distancing — “I can’t tell my dad anything.”

Fortunately, if you want to make sure your kids know you care without pushing them away or annoying them, there are some things parents can do, as well some thing they can avoid doing, when sending text messages in order to communicate their unconditional support.

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One example of a way parents try to show support that often backfires is standing up and advocating for their child, with teachers, coaches and school administrators.

Championing for a kid’s right to equal play time on the court, or fighting for fairness in the classroom, seem like great ways to show your kid that you are on their side, but be careful. The child may think they can't like or respect this other adult for fear betraying their parent.

It's important for kids to believe they can solve their own problems and take guidance from other authority figures. Some teens will stop opening up to their parents if they always see them trying to "fight for their rights" without asking for their own opinion or input.

Other kids may wind up focusing on all the perceived negative injustices in their life throughout their adulthood because they figure out that this is the best way to keep their parents attention.

Another way parents try to show they have their kid’s back, is something I call “interviewing for pain.”

When a kid gets in the car and the parent asks leading questions like, “Were your friends nice to you today?” or “Did your teacher pick on you again?”, it teaches their kids to focus on their problems and their negative emotions.

Most kids and teens bounce back from adversity much more quickly than parents do. They can be down in the dumps one moment and high as a kite the next. Deeper conversations about vulnerable emotions make parents feel connected, but it's important to be careful not to encourage your kids to essentially go looking for problems.

RELATED: The Simple Way To Stop Your Teenage Daughter From HATING You

Perhaps more than anything, your kids want to feel like you "get" them.

Some kids love mushy supportive texts like, “I’m so proud of you”, while others find that super annoying.

Like anyone else, kids want to feel seen, heard, felt and understood by their parents, so sending texts related to their specific interests and personality is a great way to help them know you understand them.

For example, my son loves funny sounding names and signs with grammatical errors, so I send those to him when I want to connect. My daughter loves sarcasm, sunsets and The Office, so I send her nature pictures and funny GIFs from her favorite shows as a way to let her know I get what she's about and that I'm always there for her when she wants me.

Researcher Marion Underwood, Ph.D., director of the Center for Children and Families at the University of Texas at Dallas, says she herself was surprised by how much "kids actually are using the phones to keep in touch with their families."

When she and her team gave a group of children phones, in fact, their mother was typically the first person the child texted.

"I never would have guessed that would be the first thing they'd want to do," she told Parenting. "I assumed a friend would be the first choice."

"In fact," the article continues, "texting is a remarkably efficient way for tweens to interact with their parents. For, on average, eight words or less (judging by the average length of a college student's messages), texts usually get a quick response, reassure Mom you're thinking of her, and keep conversations from turning sticky."

Apparently, kids are easily annoyed by paragraph-length texts, no matter how positive and kind, so be sure to keep it short and sweet.

Take some smart advice from teens, tweets, and social. If you can’t say it with a picture, GIF or meme, definitely keep it to 140 characters or less.

Use text messages as a way to show your kids you trust them.

This is the biggest theme that emerged from a survey I conducted myself. Worrying and telling kids what to do may be hallmarks of parenting, but they are also annoying. Kids want to feel responsible, smart, capable and good.

What shows kids you have their back is trusting them to make good decisions. You help your kids when you allow them the room to make mistakes, learn and grow.

Here are 10 short and totally not annoying texts to send your kids that show you trust them, understand them and support them unconditionally.

1. “You are so smart and you work hard for what you believe in. I’m so impressed by you.”

2. “I’m sure you’ll work it out, and I’m here if you need me.”

3. “I just put money on your card. Do what you think is best for you.”

4. “Call me if you need me.”

5. “I know I’m not you and I don’t fully understand, but I’m always willing to listen, and I believe in you.”

6. “How did I get so lucky to get such a great kid?”

7. “By the way, there is nothing you have to do today. The day is yours.”

8. “I’m pretty good at finding things to worry about, but with you, I just can’t. I know you will have a great future and handle it brilliantly.”

9. “I filled your car up with gas and left $40 in the glove box. Thanks for being such a responsible driver.”

10. “Do you want to do something fun this weekend?”

Try these strategies to let your kid know you have their back without riding on it or clinging to their arms, legs, and ankles.

Give your kids the gift of your trust, support and understanding via their favorite language ... texting.

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Torie Henderson is a teacher, speaker and life coach who teaches overwhelmed "Supermoms" trying to do everything right how to better understand their teens and develop parenting strategies with confidence so the adolescent years can be relaxing and fun. For more, visit her website.

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